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Nottingham Forest 1-1 Millwall: Max Lowe’s freak equalizer secures a point for new boss Steve Cooper

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Nottingham Forest 1-1 Millwall: Max Lowe’s freak equalizer gives new boss Steve Cooper a point after Matt Smith’s header put visitors ahead

  • Matt Smith met Sheyi Ojo’s precise cross and gave Millwall the lead in the first half
  • Max Lowe’s cross caught the keeper and went in through the back post
  • Forest remains in the drop zone, while Millwall is 19th after Saturday’s draw











The hairs on the back of Steve Cooper’s head stood on end as 25,000 Forest fans proclaimed their version of Mull of Kintyre in the warmest of welcomes at the City Ground.

Then the new manager saw his team win back a point thanks to a fluke from Max Lowe that wiped out Matt Smith’s header.

“It was great,” Cooper admitted. “The biggest crowd of the season and I was watching them and not the pitch! It only whetted my appetite. The players showed character to fight back.’

Max Lowe’s attempted cross went over the back post to claim a point for Nottingham Forest

MATCH FACTS

Nottm Bos: Samba, Worrall, Tobias Figueiredo, McKenna, Spence, Yates, Garner, Lowe, Johnson (Mighten 88), Lolley (Zinckernagel 68), Grabban (Taylor 27).

Subs not used: Horvath, Colback, Joao Carvalho, Bong.

Booked: Tobias Figueiredo, Worrall.

goals: low 52.

Millwall: Bialkowski, Ballard, Hutchinson, Murray Wallace, Leonard, Kieftenbeld (Mitchell 78), Saville, Malone, Mahoney (Afobe 69), Smith (Bradshaw 87), Ojo (Evans 79).

Subs not used: Long, Cooper, Pearce.

Booked: Kieftenbeld, Afobe, Ballard.

goals: Smith 32.

Att: 25.589

Reference: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).

The last time Forest played at home, the room was veiled. The thoroughly decent Chris Hughton was on his way out as the players seemed without energy or ideas and the club kept the championship afloat.

Millwall had a habit of sticking keys in the work, so it wasn’t the ideal first match. They made six draws out of nine games, but manager Gary Rowett was not happy.

The bottom spot now belongs to the rowdy neighbors after Derby went into administration and a highly regarded coach is in place to bring back the good times.

“It was the moment the game changed,” Rowett said of Lowe’s foul cross. “I’m not sure if their game deserved it, but it meant we didn’t win. We looked solid, but we need an extra 5% on performance.”

Forest’s revolving door policy has resulted in some more-than-decent executives coming and going at lightning speed, shattering reputations and shattering egos.

Steve Cooper scored a point in his first game as the boss of Nottingham Forest on Saturday

Steve Cooper scored a point in his first game as the boss of Nottingham Forest on Saturday

Cooper has a job. His resume shows off his work with young players and how he got so close to Swansea, and yes the fans would love to see an open, eye-catching football brand, but the basics need to be tackled first.

A warm welcome and a decent opening spell promised more than it delivered and in an instant Forest was a goal down and rocking into the back.

Sheyi Ojo a real tease, provided the cross from which Matt Smith headed past Brice Samba. Go for wild parties from Millwall’s small but rowdy contingent of fans.

Cooper’s first day at the office had already taken one hit, with top scorer Lewis Grabban being replaced by Lyle Taylor after a crushing collision with Bartosz Bialkowski in the opening minutes.

What would have come in handy was a stroke of luck. Max Lowe may well try to argue that his outrageous cross was always intended as a shot. Whatever the intent, it sailed over Bialkowski’s head and confirmed the draw.

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